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Egypt rejoins the Net

Internet connectivity has been restored to Egypt, though it's hard to tell from the outside just how reliable that connection is. Monitoring organizations Renesys and BGPMon provide technical details on their blogs. For a more dynamic display, RIPE, the community which helps co-ordinate the European Internet, has a live graph of the numbers of Internet routes to Egypt which currently shows the country's return.


Arbor Network's Craig Labovitz posted the image above, showing that levels of traffic are returning to previous levels. Anecdotally, I've heard of users that have had problems accessing services within Egypt. And Team Cymru, a security research firm, notes that the traffic out of Egypt seems a little anomalous -- a lot of the background housekeeping messages we'd expect from a live network, but much less actual content passing to and fro. Then again, we've never seen such a large network wake up in the modern Internet age. There may be teething trouble, and an initial lack of use because no-one can quite believe it is back.

I'll leave the political analysis as to why exactly the Net was restored at this point to others; at this point I'll just say that from the evidence and reports from within Egypt, I'm certain that both the removal and restoration of the Internet in Egypt was a deliberate act, ordered by the government.


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There is a rationale why they turned it off - and why it was always going to be turned back on. I think we'll find it made things a lot worse - for the regime. The action to stop, say, 5% of the population protesting just ended up annoying the other 95% of the population who were prevented from doing every day things. So, bad idea!

Just wrote blog post on this - part of a series of insights on regime change, tips & tricks, etc. **

Thanks for this piece - fascinating practical insights. M